Chicago Begins Work on City’s First Protected Bike Lane
By Carolyn S on June 09, 2011
Chicago residents asked for it. Active Transportation Alliance advocated for it. And, now, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is putting paint to pavement for safer cycling.
On Tuesday, Adolfo Hernandez, Active Trans’ Director of Advocacy, was on hand as the mayor unveiled Chicago’s first protected bike lane on Kinzie Avenue. “The first half-mile of protected bike lane is a great step in the right direction,” he wrote on the Active Trans blog. “It will help connect two of the busiest cycling corridors in the city and will certainly provide a safer passage into the loop.”
With Gabe Klein at the helm of the city’s Department of Transportation, Chicago certainly has reason to believe the Mayor when he says he aims to make the Windy City the most bike-friendly in the nation. But Hernandez also credited the partnership of residents and advocates in making the cycletrack a reality.
“Active Trans has been advocating for safer and more innovative bikeways for years, and I don’t believe we’d be where we are today without the strong community of supporters and advocates we’re fortunate to have in Chicago,” he wrote. “As CDOT started work on the project yesterday, I was reflecting back to our member meeting last November, when we outlined some of our priorities for this year. During a feedback session, members had emphasized the importance of protected bike lanes. We committed to making protected bike lanes and educating mayoral candidates priorities for this year. We then went on to create a Sustainable Transportation Platform, which highlighted protected bike lanes.”
The Mayor took heed of that united voice for better bicycling, and advocates are confident the Kinzie lane is just the first step to a larger, more comprehensive system. “Ultimately, we will need a robust network of protected bikeways to have a significant impact,” Hernandez noted. “Our Neighborhood Bikeways Campaign will focus on building a 100-mile network of protected bike lanes around the city—a goal we share with the mayor and CDOT.”
Subscribe to the Active Trans blog to stay up-to-date on the bikeways campaign.
Photo: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (left) speaks to cycling ambassadors at the unveiling on Tuesday (Active Transportation Alliance)
Tags: rahm emanuel, protected bike lane, gabe klein, chicago, adolfo hernandez, active transportation alliance
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